Following a booster vaccination with the Biontech-Pfizer vaccine, the initial high protection against hospitalizations and emergency room visits was reduced in Omikron after just a few months, according to new study data. That’s according to a Southern California study published in The Lancet Respiratory Medicine.
The study’s lead author, epidemiologist Sarah Y. The Kaiser Permanente Consortium.
For the study, researchers analyzed 11,123 hospital admissions and emergency room visits that did not result in hospitalization due to acute respiratory infection.
After three doses, the Biontech and Pfizer vaccine were 85 percent effective against hospitalization for omicron in less than three months. But it dropped to 55 percent after three months or more. In terms of emergency room admissions, the efficacy of three doses in less than three months versus Omicron was 77 percent, but dropped to 53 percent after three or more months.
Similar properties near Delta
For the delta variant, trends in reduced efficacy against SARS-CoV-2 were generally similar, however, efficacy was estimated to be higher than for the omicron variant at each time point. The vaccine effect of Biontech and Pfizer against Omicron was, on average, significantly higher after three doses than after two doses.
In Germany, the Standing Committee on Immunization currently recommends a second booster dose for people over 70 years of age and people with certain diseases previously. Health Minister Karl Lauterbach (SPD) recently campaigned in Brussels for a fourth vaccination for all people over the age of 60.
The European Union Medicines Agency (EMA) announced at the beginning of April that a fourth dose for everyone is not currently necessary. However, it may make sense for people over 80 given the higher risk of severe Covid disease.
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